interior of dark house - tips for spearfishing on ice

Tips for Spearfishing on Ice

Spearfishing on ice is a form of fishing that has been used for years. In climates where it gets cold enough for bodies of water to freeze, it is a technique still used to harvest fish. Some anglers spearfish on ice for enjoyment and others do it to provide for their families. Ice spearing takes focus, determination, and serious patience. No matter if it is your first time or your hundredth time, these tips for spearfishing on ice will help you improve.

Use a Darkhouse

Tip #1 for spearfishing on ice:  Use a Darkhouse.  Sometimes called a spearing shack or spear house, a darkhouse will keep your surroundings dark, which lets you focus on what is going on in the water.  It also conceals your movement from the fish.   When spearfishing, it is important that your darkhouse is portable. That way, if a location is not productive, you can move. Ambush’s Stryker Darkhouse is a great option. The advantages of the Stryker Darkhouse will be immediately apparent.  From the no wood construction and the windowless walls to the large spearing opening in the floor, the Stryker Darkhouse has everything you need.  Just make sure you don’t drop your phone down the spearing hole.   If you are interested in finding out more, locate an Ambush dealer near you.


Next, make sure you can see what is going on in the water. Pick out a location that has a sandy bottom. The light background will make it much easier for you to see dark fish from above. If the bottom is dark, some people recommend putting something light in the water, like eggshells. We DO NOT recommend this. Depending on what state you are spearfishing on ice in, this may be illegal.

Spear Choice

Our third tip for spearing fish on ice is to make sure you have a quality spear. When picking out a spear, go for a heavier one. It will work better as the weight will help you spear the fish. Also, make sure you choose a spear that is easy to move in the water. Finding the right fishing spear will take a bit of trial and error, but stick with it.


When you go spearfishing on ice, we recommend taking a variety of decoys. It is very important that you have different shapes, sizes, and colors to choose from. Also, you should have decoys that create action in the water. When choosing decoys, think of colors that work for the species when fishing with a rod and reel. Also, think about what the species of fish you are targeting will eat to survive. If you are targeting northern pike, you would choose a decoy that looks like a sucker or smaller northern pike. Realistic decoys will improve your success.

Spearing Technique

Our final tip for spearfishing on ice is to practice your spearing technique. It is frustrating when you miss and lose a fish, but it will always help you learn. Our tip is to throw the spear from the opposite direction the fish is facing. This will make it less likely for the fish to react to the movement. You want to aim and hit the fish in the back of the head. Also, make sure to keep your spear in the water. It will help you be prepared at all times.

Now, take these tips for spearfishing on ice and use them to your advantage. Good luck on your next trip!

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